Tunisian Chickpea Salad

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen

By Paula Wolfert

Published 2003

  • About

To enhance the flavor of home-cooked chickpeas, marinate them with spices while they are still hot.


  • ¾ cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in water to cover
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon homemade harissa or Turkish red pepper paste (see Mail Order Sources)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • About 12 oil-cured black olives, pitted and halved
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, for garnish


  1. Drain the chickpeas and place in a saucepan with the whole onion and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add enough water to cover by 1½ inches, cover with a tight lid, and cook over low heat until the chickpeas are tender, 1½ hours or more. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the liquid.
  2. While the chickpeas are still warm, transfer them to a bowl; discard the onion. Pour the reserved 1 cup cooking liquid over the chickpeas and gently fold in the cumin, harissa, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Let marinate for at least 4 or 5 hours. Drain off the liquid.
  3. Toss the chickpeas with the chopped red onion, parsley, lemon juice, and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Garnish with the olives and cherry tomatoes and serve at room temperature.

With thanks to chef HaouariAbderrazak for sharing this recipe.